The smallest of Slovenia’s wine regions with just under 3000 hectares cultivated and an annual production of some 10m litres, Posavje (or the lower Sava river valley) is most closely associated with the light, fresh and slightly sour Cviček wine from the district of Dolenjska, which locals have the not undeserved reputation of drinking like water.
The smaller districts of Bizeljsko-Sremič and Bela Krajina are located along different segments of the Croatian border, and are two of the more charming places to visit in Slovenia, with many castles offering Games of Thrones-esque wine tasting experiences within their medieval walls, and the so-called Repnice (turnip cellars) of Bizeljsko being one of the most unique wine destinations anywhere in the world. The region is also known for its Turizem v Zidanicah initiative (or Vineyard Cottage Tourism), through which restored traditional stone cottages located directly in the vineyards can be rented for quite reasonable prices.
Bizeljsko – Sremič
While Bizeljsko-Sremič may not be one of the country’s more known or visited wine districts – in fact it might very well be the least known and least visited – it’s not only one of our personal favourites, but is also a permanent fixture on any itinerary of Slovenia we prepare when family and friends visit from abroad. Modra Frankinja, Laški Rizling, Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the dominant varieties grown here, and there are even a few award-winning producers, most notably the sparkling wines of Istenič.
However, the reason we visit time and time again has less to do with the wine we drink and more to do with the incredible wealth of sights in the area and the friendly folks who operate them. Several castles are open to the public, including one (Grad Bizeljsko) that doubles as a family residence and boasts an assortment of awarding-winning sweet whites that you can try in a tasting room straight out of Game of Thrones. Nature reserves cover most of the territory, and are perfect for a post-meal or post-tasting stroll, while the one-of-a-kind repnice wine cellars, dug by hand into sandstone hills, are also a must see on any visit.
Istenič Wine Cellar
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